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bill-pepper-img_0914Bill-Pepper---IMG_0914

This rare, fragile toy was made by Lehmann in Germany shortly after the 1900 Boxer Rebellion and was called “Boxer” or EPL 530. It represents yet another of their toys with an Oriental theme. The hats of each of the four figures represents the great Allied powers of  England, France, United States and Germany against which the Chinese were rebelling.  This toy was a political statement as the poor Chinese man in the middle is flung in the air as the four figures bend at the waist going “one, two, three” then  suddenly standing upright causing the blanket to become taut. It has three adjustments for how high to toss the man. A look underneath shows the complicated mechanism.  The Chinaman’s long pigtail is attached to the center of the blanket, keeping him from falling off.  The box art summarizes the toy this way:  “Tossing the Heathen Chinee.”  These are rarely found in this condition with the original cloth with the Chinaman intact and all four characters secure and working.